The Long Beach Poly boys’ basketball team wasn’t happy with its 2-2 performance at the Westchester Tournament last week to open the season, and the Jackrabbits set the goal of making a statement in their Bosco Winter Classic opener against Warren on Monday night. The Jackrabbits did that and then some in a high-flying win over Warren, 85-72.
The Jackrabbits scored 47 points in the first half and led 67-43 after three quarters, as Peyton Watson put up 32 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, a block and a steal.
“We went out to Westchester to play some tough LA teams and throw our young team into the fire,” said Poly coach Shelton Diggs. “If you’re going to throw them in the fire, make sure it’s hot. We had most of our team playing their first varsity games last week, and they figured it out fast–our energy was better tonight, and Peyton was playing the way that Peyton can play.”
The Jackrabbits led 23-18 after a wide open first quarter, and dialed it in defensively in the second quarter, giving up just three field goals as they outscored the Bears 23-10 in the frame. Watson led the team in scoring but spent most of the first half facilitating teammates.
“I thought we played a lot better as a team,” said the junior captain. “For me it’s just about making everyone better, trying to get my teammates the ball in good spots early.”
Watson also provided some major highlights with three rim-rattling dunks, which brought big cheers from the crowd. Solomon Jones also threw down a big dunk for the Jackrabbits.
“If the lane is open, I gotta do it,” said Watson.
The Jackrabbits got a great team effort in the win, as Solomon Jones had 10 points and nine rebounds. The Jackrabbits’ backcourt came alive with Chris Watson putting up 13 points and 4 assists, Gabe Cummings dropping 11 points, and speedy Anthony Robinson scoring eight points with six assists and five rebounds.
Warren was led by Jahvy Medearis’ 26 points and Steven Lora’s 21 points.
Poly (3-2) will be back in action at Bosco on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Crespi.